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Family Home Evening Lesson 1: Notes







According to Martin Harris, Josiah Stowell was still digging for money, well over a year after the 1826 Glass Looking Trial:


"After this, on the 22d of September, 1827, before day, Joseph took the horse and wagon of old Mr. Stowel, and taking his wife, he went to the place where the plates were concealed, and while he was obtaining them, she kneeled down and prayed. He then took the plates and hid them in an old black oak tree top which was hollow. Mr. Stowel was at this time at old Mr. Smith’s, digging for money." (Joel Tiffany, Interview with Martin Harris)


[Note: Other accounts also place Josaih Stowell at the Smith's home on this day; along with Joseph Knight, yet they spell out that it was Knight's horse and wagon which was taken].










His Account of the Finding of the Sacred Plates.


"And," says Smith, "in the course of a year, I succeeded in finding all the articles, as directed; and one dark night Joseph mounted his horse, and, aided by some supernatural light, he succeeded in finding the starting point and the objects in range." Following these, as far as he could with the horse without being directed to stop, he proceeded on foot, keeping the range in view, until he arrived at a large boulder, of several tons weight, when he was immediately impressed with the idea that the object of his pursuit was under that rock. Feeling around the edge, he found that the under side was fiat. Being a stout man, and aided by some super-natural power, he succeeded in turning the rock upon its edge, and under it he found a square block of masonry, in the centre of which were the articles referred to by the man seen in the dream. Taking up the first article, he saw others below; laying down the first, he endeavored to secure the others; but, before he could get hold of them, the one he had taken up slid back to the place he had taken it from, and, to his great surprize and terror, the rock immediately fell back to its former place, nearly crushing him in its descent. His first thought was that he had not properly secured the rock when it was turned up, and accordingly he again tried to lift it, but now in vain; he next tried with the aid of levers, but still without success. While thus engaged, he felt something strike him on the breast, which was repeated the third time, always with increased force, the last such as to lay him upon his back. As he lay there, he looked up and saw the same large man that had appeared in his dream, dressed in the same clothes. He said to him that, when the treasure was deposited there, he was sworn to take charge of and protect that property, until the time should arrive for it to be exhibited to the world of mankind; and, in order to prevent his making an improper disclosure, he was murdered or slain on the spot, and the treasure had been under his charge ever since. (see entire account)


Also see:

Chase Account

Knight Account

The Amboy Journal

Joseph Smith Money Digging Accounts

Enchantment — Magic and Money Digging 



















Stone used by Joseph Smith to translate and receive revelation:  


"After the translation of the Book of Mormon was finished, early in the spring of 1830, before April 6th, Joseph gave the stone to Oliver Cowdery and told me as well as the rest that he was through with it, and he did not use the stone any more. He said he was through the work that God had given him the gift to perform, except to preach the gospel. He told us that we would all have to depend on the Holy Ghost hereafter to be guided into truth and obtain the will of the Lord. The revelations after this came through Joseph as 'mouth piece;' that is, he would enquire of the Lord, pray and ask concerning a matter, and speak out the revelation... " (An Address To All Believers In Christ, David Whitmer p. 32)


"The revelations in the Book of Commandments up to June, 1829, were given through the ‘stone,’ through which the Book of Mormon was translated." (An Address to All Believers in Christ, David Whitmer, 1887, p. 53)


Note: The Book of Commandments is an early version of the Doctrine and Covenants; therefore, David Whitmer makes it clear that what would later be called "the Urim and Thummim" in the following quotes, was in reality one of Joseph Smith's seer stones.



The Urim and Thummim mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants:


■ “Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet… The revelation was given through the Urim and Thummim.” (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 3, Introduction)

■ “The Prophet inquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim and received this response.” (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 6, Introduction)

■ “Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, April 1829, when they inquired through the Urim and Thummim as to whether John, the beloved disciple, tarried in the flesh or had died. The revelation is a translated version of the record made on parchment by John and hidden up by himself.” (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 7, Introduction)


■ "Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to his brother Hyrum Smith, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, May 1829. HC 1: 39–46. This revelation was received through the Urim and Thummim in answer to Joseph’s supplication and inquiry. “History of the Church” suggests that this revelation was received after the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 11, Introduction)


■ "Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to David Whitmer, at Fayette, New York, June 1829..." This revelation and the two next following (Sections 15 and 16) were given in answer to an inquiry through the Urim and Thummim…" (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 14, Introduction)


■ "Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, at Fayette, New York, June 1829, prior to their viewing the engraved plates that contained the Book of Mormon record…. The Prophet inquired of the Lord, and this revelation was given in answer, through the Urim and Thummim." (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 17, Introduction)